One moment I was talking to you, the other you slipped silently away.
I walked alone, wind in my hair, rain pelting down , caressing the nape of my neck. I quickened my step, one foot after the other, disrupting the surface of the still puddles of water on the pavement -- breaking the tranquility of the moment.
I was rushing to see someone I hardly knew, but felt I knew a lifetime -- Ian Ng.
I met you when I was in sec 4 at your house, introduced by a mutual friend. I never really knew you, but somehow on Wednesday, we shared a conversation again, facilitated by Bjorn.
Sunday I heard you had passed away, I didn't even know why.
When I reached the memorial service, there already had gathered heaps of people, testament to the fact that you were not a mere mortal, like all of us. You helped the poor, served the needy, dedicated your life to living for Christ. My heart was deeply saddened for you, you had left too soon, you were the brother I never had, but always wished for. As I heard the eulogy, I cried inside -- that the world had lost an angel, the world had lost someone who dared to be different, who dared to live his dreams. I saw everything in you that I wasn't and I was swallowed in remorse, bathed in shame.
I wonder why you had to leave so fast, so suddenly. People around me we teary eyed, all of us touched by your being in one way or another... I wanted to scream, to wake you up! Its too early for you to leave, you have so much more to accomplish! Then I was angry at you, for abandoning this world for some place better. I was furious at the doctors who let you slip away...
Coward as I was, I did not dare to stare into the coffin when paying my last respect. I never dared to peer in through the polished glass only because I felt guilty. You deserved to be alive so much more than me.. My gaze adverted all the while, stomach churning up a storm.
Did you see the look on your mother's face? Did you see your brother's faces? Did you know how deeply you were loved?
I walked past your father to bid farewell... and looked into my eyes, deep in sorrow, shook my hands firmly and said, "You are Ian's friend?". I was stumped. No I don't think you even remembered meeting me. Was I your friend? Would you count me as one?
I looked down, silent . "No uncle, not friend, but I wish I was...". Then finally, the tears flowed down profusely. I dont know why I was crying. I didn't know you, we would have walked past each other along the street without even acknowledging each other's presence. We were strangers.
I felt swept over with sorrow, angry at God for taking your life. I tried to bite my lips hard, cursing away the torrents of tears. So embarrassing, I didn't know why I felt so grieved. I didn't want to cry, I didnt want to feel weak and vulnerable. I kicked myself in the shin, pretending to gaze down so no one would see my tear glazed cheeks.
I made a beeline for the exit, it was just overwhelming. I never knew you but I know that if I did, it would have been my honour.
Thank you for showing me how much more a person I should strive to be. I'll see you on heaven, over a cup of coffee.